Raiders vs. Cardinals Betting Guide: Is Oakland Being Undervalued?
Neville E. Guard-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Oakland Raiders running back DeAndre Washington (33).
Oakland Raiders at Arizona Cardinals
- Spread: Cardinals -3
- Over/Under: 40
- Kickoff: 8 p.m. ET
- TV: ESPN
The Cardinals host the Raiders in one of five NFL Preseason Week 2 matchups on Thursday night. Let’s take a look at key storylines for both teams, complete with betting and daily fantasy analysis.
You might’ve heard Antonio Brown’s name in the news cycle once or twice this week. We still don’t have a definitive answer to #HelmetGate, but AB at least is expected to be ready to go for Week 1 despite his continued foot issues.
The last time we saw Brown in a competitive football situation was Week 16 against the Saints, when he caught 14-of-19 targets for 185 yards and a pair of touchdowns.
His final catch with the Steelers converted a crucial fourth-and-15 and served as one final reminder that “Tony Toe-Tap” is pretty much impossible to cover when he’s at his best.
AB wasn’t the most efficient version of himself last season, but he still was good enough to join Rob Gronkowski, Dez Bryant, Jimmy Graham, Calvin Johnson, Dwayne Bowe and Jordy Nelson as the only players to catch at least 15 touchdowns in a season since 2010.
Volume is obviously a concern given Derek Carr’s and Jon Gruden’s general reluctance to feed a single receiver over the years, but we did see Gruden feed an aging Joey Galloway an average of 147.5 targets as recently as 2005 and 2006.
AB won’t be on the field this Thursday night, although it’s safe to say Gruden (14-8-2 against the spread in the preseason) will still have his team properly motivated.
The Kyler Murray era started off well enough last week, as the first overall pick completed six-of-seven passes (86% completion rate) for 44 yards (6.3 yards per attempt) in one drive’s worth of action.
The better news for the Cardinals was simply how comfortable Murray looked while operating in Kliff Kingsbury’s Air Raid attack. The offense already featured plenty of plays that allowed Murray to either pass or utilize his exception speed (self-proclaimed 4.3-second 40-yard dash).
The not-so-great news was that the defense didn’t exactly show a ton of talent behind studs Chandler Jones and Patrick Peterson. The first half of the season should feature plenty of high-scoring affairs between the Cardinals and whoever they happen to be matched up against.
Arizona defense: third-most zone-coverage in 2018
New DC Vance Joseph: second-most man-coverage in 2018
Patrick Peterson (suspended 6 games)
Robert Alford (PFF's No. 115 CB in coverage out of 131)
David Amerson (No. 96)
Tramaine Brock (No. 84)
Byron Murphy (rookie)
— Ian Hartitz (@Ihartitz) May 19, 2019
The Cardinals are everyone’s idea of a fun darkhorse, but realize that they boast a league-worst Vegas win total of just five for a reason.
LEAN: Raiders +3